Buffalo, N.Y. has 22 new firefighters ready for duty, manpower and Overtime still major issues

 In a Buffalo News article, management issues and manpower are front and center. The Mayor of Buffalo demoted Fire Commissioner Michael S. Lombardo earlier this year, blaming high overtime as one reason why he opted to find someone else to head the department. There has been an ongoing dispute about overtime and a connection to increased sick time use.

 

 The BFD Management claims manpower is the cause and some believe it could also be related to "Pension Padding". Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is investigating the possible connections in a number of NY Departments.

 

 Officials hope that the 22 new hires will help ease the sky rocketing overtime of the past few years. As of the fiscal year that ended last June, the city shattered a record  paying $9.4 million for overtime in firehouses. In the current fiscal year, overtime costs are hovering around $7.6 million.

 

 The Mayor and the Fire Departments Union are in the process of trying to negotiate a new contract. FF's have worked several years without a completed contract.

 

 The Mayor named a new Commissioner and a Deputy saying the Department needs new direction. FF's who conyinue to provide uninterupted services are hopeful and more than willing to help negotiate a fair contract.

 

To read the entire article click here

 

Another related article: Overtime really adds up for city police, firemen

 Ecerpt from the above linked article:

 

  Last year, thanks in part to overtime, more than 100 police and firefighters earned more than $100,000. Among them is a police officer who made almost $190,000 and a firefighter who earned more than $174,000. Both received more than $100,000 in overtime.

   

This in a city the U.S. Census Bureau says is the second poorest in the nation.

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"From my brief time visiting the city I saw the condition of some of the front line rigs, truck crews responding in pick ups because of no reserve rigs, and so forth, that and the information obtained from such publications, leads me to believe the city doesn't really give a damn about the firefighters. If so you guys would have had a contract at least 4 times over by now. Correct?"
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Your visit must have been a few years ago, BFD has more new personal gear and rigs than in recent memory, Almost every rig has been replaced. The "Pick Up Trucks" were used as "Quick Response Vehicles" to answer minor calls or to beef up manpower at established incidents scenes. It sure looked dumb, a $35,000.00 Crew Cab Super Duty Ford with a ladder in the back.

As far as "OT" contributing to exhaustion and injury, its sort of hard to justify that when its not the "Exhausted Employees" calling off sick.

The City has been investing in the Department under the past Commissioner M.Lombardo. It seemed like we were on the way to a new era. Then the Control Board and Blue Flue set in and everything went up in smoke.

I always thought a Departments leadership, Commissioner on down - set the agenda and lead by example. Doesn't appear so in Buffalo.
So what are you really trying to get at here Rick? What is the whole purpose of this thread then?

Yes, when I visited the city it was a few years ago and much of what is read has been from the recent past. I'm not an expert by any means with the BFD, but the issues you face are faced by other depts on a different scale. Then you come on here with an article regarding OT, I mentioned the simple fact that OT tends to be cheaper and more cost effective than hiring new members. I stated my beliefs are that hiring people to fill the gaps is better than relying upon OT to fill those gaps.

You come on about "blue flu", "padding for retirement", and so forth "which the public doesn't see". So what are you griping about then? That there is supposed "blue flu" going on to create OT. Do you have proff of this? Is this something you want to air out on a public internet forum? Can you say with absolute certainty, this is the reason for the OT, that added stress and so forth has nothing to do with the increased sick time? Sick time is also a benefit to be used when needed, if the city really believes sick time is being abused, they can tell the people to bring in a doctor's excuse to verify. This has happened for us, a FF calls in because the kid is sick, they have to bring them to the doctor, their sick, doctor, family sick, doctor, and so forth. Is this something you want to see implemented? It really isn't a pretty picture. But this is where I'm confused because I have no clue where you are coming from in this conversation.
Maybe thats whats missing, you keep trying to find out "where I am going"! I didn't criticize your answers, you stated what you believe. I accept that and appreciate that.

You stated:"Is this something you want to air out on a public INTERNET forum?" Also do I have "Proof" - I have not accused, I am simply trying to fill in the blanks so others can have a informed discussion.

We have a guy who drank too much. He was and is a great guy, just drinks to much. His crew mates covered him as long as they could, he started getting dangerous at fire scenes. The Chief moved him to a non-front line position. He continued to drink.

Did his crew help him by covering his actions? Did the Chief help him or the Depart by hiding the truth?

Everyone See's whats in the news, as you stated you perceived we have had a bitter contract dispute which is on going. The States Attorney General is investigating the OT/Pension issues. We have a new HQ Staff and Employees are crying for a better contract.

I guess what I am trying to say is we all need to take a hard look at our selfs and be gratefull. Stop pointing fingers and take responsibility. Instead what seems to be happening is we "enable" each other by using selective information and false entitlement agenda's.

We should hire more, we should stop pretending the Politicians are screwing us, while our PAC Funds line their pockets - as we screw our selves and future FF's.

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